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Omega-3s Show Promise for Menopausal Women

According to a study published in the February 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition omega-3 fatty acids may help ease depression symptoms often experienced by menopausal and perimenopausal women.

For the study, researchers from the University Laval in Canada recruited 120 women aged 40-55. The participants were split into two groups. The first received three gel capsules per day containing 1.05g of the omega-3 EPA, from fish. The second group received three gel capsules of sunflower oil which did not contain omega-3s.

Researchers used the Hopkins Symptom Checklist Depression Scale and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale to identify the level of psychological distress and the severity of depression among the participants.

At the conclusion of the eight week study period, researchers found that supplementation with omega-3 significantly improved the condition of women suffering symptoms of psychological distress and mild depression. However, no improvement was observed for those suffering from severe depression.

Several previous studies have shown that omega-3s may decrease depression symptoms and improve mood. In addition to these mental health benefits, thousands of studies have associated omega-3s with improved heart health and cognitive function, lower cholesterol and better eye health.

Increasing your fish consumption can help you get more of the key omega-3s, EPA and DHA. But unless you eat a lot of fish you probably aren’t getting enough to see the health benefits. Using a high quality fish oil supplement may be a good way to bridge the gap.

Be careful when choosing an omega-3 supplement, because not all products are created equally. Make sure the one you choose is certified for purity and potency by a reputable agency and contains at least 750mg of combined EPA and DHA.
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